Israel committed to peace agreement with Jordan: Foreign Ministry

AFP , Ahram Online , Monday 20 Mar 2023

Israel's Foreign Ministry on Monday evening released a statement affirming that it is committed to the countries' 1994 peace agreement.

Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich
Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich (R) at a ceremony organized Sunday, March 19, in Paris, by a French Jewish organization close to the far right. Photo courtesy of the Twitter account of the organizer of the event. Nili Kupfer- Naouri (@NaouriNili).


Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich delivered a speech in Paris  denying the existence of the Palestinian people behind a map of “Greater Israel” that includes the occupied West Bank, Gaza and Jordan which triggered the anger of the Jordanian Kingdom and the Palestainians.

Jordan’s Foreign Ministry said that Smotrich’s appearance with the icon was a “reckless inflammatory act and a violation of international norms and the peace treaty" between the two countries.

The Israeli foreign ministry tweeted shortly afterwards to clarify “There has been no change in the position of the State of Israel, which recognizes the territorial integrity of the Hashemite Kingdom."

Late on Monday, Jordan summons Israeli ambassador to protest flag during ultra-nationalist minister's speech at a podium with a flag of an expanded Israel with borders that incorporates Jordan, Petra News Agency tweeted.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said Smotrich's remarks were “conclusive evidence of the extremist, racist Zionist ideology that governs the parties of the current Israeli government.”

Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, dubbed the minister's remarks "completely unhelpful", stressing the Palestinian people "obviously" exists.

"We continue to support their rights and to push for a two-state solution" to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he said.

A far-right settler leader who opposes Palestinian statehood, Smotrich has a history of offensive statements against the Palestinians. Last month, he called for the Palestinian town of Hawara in the West Bank to be “erased” after radical Jewish settlers rampaged through the town in response to a shooting attack that killed two Israelis. 

Smotrich later apologized after an international uproar.

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